Class of 2021 attends prom at Tavern on the Green

Arushi Talwar, Staff Writer

171 seniors and 16 faculty members attended the outdoor prom at Tavern on the Green in Central Park on June 4. The school set COVID-19 protocols in accordance with state guidelines and rules other private schools in the area had set for their respective proms, Director of Student Activities Caroline Bartels said. No outside guests were allowed, and students had to bring masks and present a negative COVID-19 test beforehand.

The students attending prom took a PCR test on Wednesday to ensure a negative result for the event, Bartels said. Head of Upper Division Dr. Jessica Levenstein, Dean of the Class of 2021 Dr. Susan Groppi, and Dean of Students Michael Dalo were among the faculty in attendance.

After much planning and deliberation, the administration decided that traditional prom activities — such as photo booths and dancing — would still be present, but with masks, Bartels said. Regardless of the precautions and extra protocols, she hopes students will make the most out of the experience. “Seeing the space and knowing what it could look like, I feel confident that it will be a really great event for everybody,” she said. 

Although Helena Yang (12) understands the importance of the safety precautions, she remained concerned as to whether she would experience the social aspect of prom to its full extent. “With social distancing and masks, I don’t think the atmosphere would be the same as it was from the years before,” Yang said. Still, she was grateful to be able to experience prom in any form.

Since the state-wide safety guidelines allowed for gatherings of only 200 people outside or 100 inside, the event needed to be held outside, Bartels said. “Even in early April when the guidelines were still up in the air, it was hard to commit in contract with a place when you might have to pull out,” she said. Since prom is outside, the school also ensured they were prepared for rain by ensuring they had access to a tent. 

Whereas only members of the Class of 2021 attended this year’s prom, in past years, students have brought dates from other grades and schools. 

Henry Bloom (12) anticipated the school would want to control the number of attendees. “I’m just looking forward to having the time to spend with my peers there,” Bloom said. “[The news] definitely did give some people anxiety because many people want to go with a date, but this year I think a larger portion of people went as friends or just with their friend group.”

When Andie Goldmacher (12) heard that she could only take a date in her grade, she was apprehensive. She had always imagined taking someone from outside of school, but because she and her friends found dates who were also all friends, it worked out better than she had expected. “It could honestly be nice that dates are only in our grade because we don’t have to look out for our out-of-school dates and make sure they’ve met everyone and are entertained when they don’t know our grade as well,” Goldmacher said. 

Pascale Zissu (12) appreciated the fact that her peers could only take a date in their grade. “This gives us a nice opportunity to spend time as a grade for the last time,” she said.